Video conferencing solutions between Mac and Windows users

If you work in the home office, you need digital solutions to stay in touch with colleagues, the executive suite and other people in the company. If you work with an Apple Mac, you will probably prefer the FaceTime app for video conferencing or one-on-one calls via video telephony. On the Windows PC, the click is certainly more on the Skype app. But although Skype supports both systems (as well as iOS and Android), where FaceTime is only intended for Apple devices, it is not the best alternative. Here I have put together a few other solutions for video conferencing between Mac and Windows users.

Video telephony with the boss or a video chat with colleagues in the department - there are a number of solutions for video conferencing between Mac and Windows users. Here you will find apps, web tools and webcams.

Video telephony with the boss or a video chat with colleagues in the department - there are a number of solutions for video conferencing between Mac and Windows users. Here you will find apps, web tools and webcams.

Skype - everyone knows, but it doesn't offer the best quality

If you haven't had much to do with video telephony or video conferencing in your professional environment, you probably know Skype from your private life. Families stay in contact over longer distances via Skype. Groups of friends also meet when it has scattered them in all directions. 

But the picture quality is not always right. The sound quality can also be mediocre to poor with Skype. Quite rarely, but so often that it should be mentioned, something is wrong with the connection itself. So if you want to focus more on quality than on we-use-the-obvious, you should take a look at Zoom or Slack.

Zoom - online meeting rooms for video conferencing

I have already introduced you to the Zoom online service in this post: Home office on the Apple Mac - apps and tools for e-mail, to-do & time recording. As a cross-platform service, Zoom allows video conferences to be carried out with up to 1.000 participants. Up to 49 participants can be shown on the screen at the same time. 

If you have created a user account on the website, you can organize meetings and create ID codes for them. With the ID you invite people who go to the virtual conference room on the side with the same number. The free basic model gives you the opportunity to hold conferences of up to 100 minutes with up to 40 people.

Slack - video telephony along with organization, delegation and to-do

I also introduced Slack to you in the post linked above on home office tools for a wide variety of tasks. This tool is also cross-platform (macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, etc.), but is offered as an app. Slack offers the possibility to hold video conferences with up to 15 participants. 

The app is also used to organize the company on many other levels. Groups (e.g. for departments and trades) as well as projects, one-on-one communication, the exchange of files, the assignment and acceptance of tasks, to-do lists and more can be implemented. This, for example, reduces the volume of e-mails in the home office.

Use webcam on Mac and PC: cameras for USB-C and USB-A

If you don't want to use the webcam built into the iMac, MacBook or Windows laptop, you can also connect an external camera. The same applies to your PCs with Windows or Linux or the Mac Pro or Mac mini, where no camera is included. If you have a USB-C port on your device (the new, smaller and rounded port), you can, for example, use the Logitech StreamCam use. The other selection of cameras with the universal connection is currently quite small.

If you have a USB-A port (the old, larger, angular port) free, you get a larger selection: the AUKEY PC-W1, which Logitech C920 HD PRO or even the LOGITUBO webcam with light ring. Do you have - e.g. on a current MacBook - only one Thunderbolt 3 port with USB-C architecture free, but want to use an inexpensive USB-A webcam, here an adapter. Incidentally, a webcam is also suitable if you are working on an external monitor with the MacBook closed or if you do not like the camera angle of the built-in cam.

59,01 EUR
Logitech StreamCam - Livestream webcam for Youtube and Twitch, Full HD 1080p, 60 FPS, USB-C ...
  • FULL HD 1080P: Get clear pictures with Full HD 1080p at 60 FPS. The black Logitech StreamCam offers the ...
  • USB-C CONNECTION: StreamCam uses a USB type C connection to ensure fast video transmission.
  • INTELLIGENT AUTOFOCUS: AI-assisted facial recognition in Logitech Capture enables precise focus and ...
39,01 EUR
Logitech C920 HD PRO webcam, Full-HD 1080p, 78 ° field of view, autofocus, clear stereo sound, ...
  • Video calls in premium quality: The Logitech C920 webcam guarantees full HD transmission in 1080p with 30 ...
  • Excellent stereo sound: Two microphones integrated in the HD webcam guarantee high sound quality
  • Clear image display: The glass lens with premium autofocus of the webcam guarantees excellent resolution
Webcam for game streaming 1080p / built-in adjustable ring light / autofocus (AF) streamer webcam ...
  • Adjustable ring filler light: The webcam with 3 brightness levels, the different lighting requirements for ...
  • Professional webcam for streaming: plug and play on Xbox One. Largely compatible with ...
  • Double noise-canceling microphones with amplifier chip: high-quality microphones help to improve the speech quality ...
6,00 EUR
Syntech USB-C to USB adapter (2 pieces) OTG USB-C to USB 3.0 female adapter, Thunderbolt 4/3 to ...
  • Original design: After all, design is the heart of Syntech. We leave this compact USB-C adapter with ...
  • Compatible with all: This USB-C-to-USB adapter is compatible with every laptop / tablet / smartphone with a USB-Type-C connection ...
  • User-friendly and USB 3.0 speed: plug and work. Connect the USB-C plug of the adapter to a ...

Meeting Advice: The Impact Of The Pandemic On The Book Market

Today is March 31, 2021 and I'll look at this post again after a year. It occurs to me that every major development in society and in the economy always comes up with those who think that they have understood certain things better and who want to share their knowledge for a few euros. So I take a look at Amazon and there they actually are: guides and tips-and-tricks books on topics such as video conferences, webinars, online meetings, zoom and co. In the following I will show you some of the better rated books.

Zoom for dummies and other zoom guides

Of course there is also one and the other guide from the "... for dummies" series on the subject. In "Zoom for Dummies" you will get a closer look at the offer for video conferences, you will get tips and tricks for the operation as well as a "cheat sheet" to cut out, on which there are useful keyboard shortcuts for zoom. The shortcuts for Windows are printed on the front, those for the Mac on the back. Furthermore, it is about setting up Zoom, about meetings and chats, about the use for advanced users as well as about use in the company. Here you come to the Amazon product page. Another zoom book is available with this link.

Zoom for dummies
  • Simon, Phil (Author)

Webinar, online moderation and video conferencing

But maybe you don't use zoom at all, but prefer the open source alternative Jitsi, which is better in terms of data protection. With this I have been able to gain good experience myself in the last few months. Further information can be found in the Ouzel's comment, which you can find under this post. If you are looking for specialist literature, but less about the program to be used, and more about help with online moderation, help with the preparation of web meetings or knowledge about video conferences in general, then these books may be something for you :

  • Design webinars professionally for beginners: The 1 x 1 for a successful online seminar (published February 2021): Read and buy here
  • Planning digital events successfully: The perfect guide for successful video conferences, online conferences and group meetings (published March 2021): Read and buy here
  • The art of online moderation: tools, ideas and tips for successful implementation (published October 2020): Read and buy here
-
 

The page contains affiliate links / images: Amazon.de

5 comments

  1. theOuzel says:

    Hello Sir Apfelot,

    first of all, thank you very much for the article. Second, nice that this blog exists.

    As far as cross-platform video conferences are concerned, I would like to point out 2 solutions that are open source, (relatively) uncomplicated and also privacy-friendly:
    https://jami.net/
    https://jitsi.org/jitsi-meet/

    Jitsi Meet even has the charm that it works without a client and without an account.
    I tested it myself in the browser and it feels good. Of course, it's not quite as comfortable as, for example, Skype. But I get a very flexible and quick solution that works without any great account creation fiddling ...

    Mike Kuketz has also published an interesting article on Jitsi Meet on his blog.

    • sir appleot says:

      Hello! Thanks for the addition. That sounds like two interesting solutions that are sure to be useful for one or the other. Best regards and good health to you too!

  2. theOuzel says:

    Forget: stay healthy and greetings from Halle

  3. Martin says:

    You can currently only advise against zooming:
    https://www.heise.de/mac-and-i/meldung/Zoom-auf-dem-Mac-Sicherheitsluecken-erlauben-Lauschen-und-Root-4695129.html

    Would be nice if you could revise the article ...

    • sir appleot says:

      Hello Martin! Thanks for the hint, but there is an update under the article: "Zoom has now published a new macOS version of its client. The two gaps that Wardle discovered should be fixed - at least according to the package insert - as well as a problem with access on chats in webinars that "some users" could gain illegally. "

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